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Vascular Section and Peripheral
Vascular Disease Program

Director: William Hiatt, MD


The Vascular Program has been funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health entitled, "Academic Award in Vascular Disease." The award facilitated the development of an educational program consisting of a Vascular Grand Rounds, a Pathophysiology in Vascular Disease course taught to the sophomore students, a residency research month for residents and fellows in cardiology to perform clinical studies in vascular disease.

Clinical Program

The clinical program is run out of the Vascular Surgery Clinic and Heart Center at University Hospital. This is staffed by Drs. Bill Krupski, Tom Whitehill, Mark Nehler, and William Hiatt. This clinic provides coordinated surgical and medical therapies for all patients with vascular diseases.

Vascular Research Program

The vascular research program is conducted primarily in the Heart Center and is under the supervision of Drs. Judith Regensteiner and William Hiatt. There are numerous studies that are ongoing.

Over the past four years topics that have been studied include:

  1. The assessment of oxygen uptake kinetics in patients with claudication: This trial was designed to assess the rate at which oxygen uptake occurs in patients with vascular disease. This rate has been observed to be slowed and is a marker of both the severity of the underlying vascular disease, as well as skeletal muscle dysfunction.
  2. The effect of peripheral arterial disease on mitochondrial DNA: This study is ongoing and is being conducted in association with Dr. Eric Brass of Harbor UCLA. The basic hypothesis is that peripheral arterial disease leads to mitochondrial injury which alters energy metabolism in ischemic muscle.
  3. The evaluation of exercise training vs. bypass surgery:
    Funding in development.
  4. Pharmacologic Studies:
    A variety of pharmacologic studies are being undertaken at this time. These include the use of growth factors, and other agents to treat vascular disease.

Future goals for the Vascular Research Program are to continue to obtain funding for the proposed and ongoing studies. In addition, we are interested in comparing the effects of vascular disease to those of normal aging.